Canada Complicit in Afghan Detainee Torture

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Canada Complicit in Afghan Detainee Torture

Canada Complicit in Afghan Detainee Torture

http://mwcnews.net/focus/politics/16973-afghan-detainee-torture.html

"A Canadian human rights activist has filed more than 120 documents with the International Criminal Court (ICC) demonstrating reaons for concern about the leglities of Canada's handling of the transfer of detainees in Afghanistan and calling for an investigation.

John McNamer, a decorated Vietnam veteran, said it is a matter of conscience for him and that he has been shocked over past years by 'the lack of legal and moral integrity,' from Canada and the handling of people detained in Afghanistan..."

'Complicity in torture is a war crime, and Canada is up to its neck in complicity in torture,' he said in a press release Wednesday. It's truly a horror story when you stop and look at everything that has come down on this, and anyone who wants to have a look at this information had better have a strong stomach.'

He said he sent evidence to the ICC because he believes top Canadian authorities have used their power to cover up wrongdoing and that the truth about detainee torture will come out only with intervention by a higher authority such as the ICC..."

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

NDPP wrote:

He said he sent evidence to the ICC because he believes top Canadian authorities have used their power to cover up wrongdoing and that the truth about detainee torture will come out only with intervention by a higher authority such as the ICC..."

And Canada's feckless opizishin allowed Harper to wriggle off the hook, even after the Speaker had found Harper's government in contempt of Parliament for refusing to release the detainee documents. As a result, the documents have been buried by the government.

This is a good initiative by McNamer - not because the ICC is going to actually do anything about it, but because it draws together all the threads of information about Canadian government complicity in torture and attempts to cover it up.

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:
And Canada's feckless opizishin allowed Harper to wriggle off the hook, even after the Speaker had found Harper's government in contempt of Parliament for refusing to release the detainee documents. As a result, the documents have been buried by the government.

And we can blame the NDP for this as they opted out of signing an all-party committee agreement to resolve the government's release of torture documents. The real pro democracy parties against government secrecy, the Bloc and Liberals, were submarined by the feckless NDP oppozishin, again!! The Harpers wanted desperately to release this information to the NDP and Canadian public, but in 2012 it's the NDP who are insisting that the Harpers don't have to abide by the Speaker of the House' ruling.[/dark sarcasm]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

You're understandably keen to forget the part about how the NDP and the other three parties [url=http://www.thecourt.ca/2010/05/14/detainee-docs-agreement/]all agreed on May 14, 2010[/url] to a scheme that would allow for documents to be withheld from the committee looking into Afghan detainee torture - which was the very issue on which the Speaker had said the government was in contempt of parliament.

The immediate effect of the all-party agreement was to defuse the issue and end the parliamentarty crisis for the benefit of the Conservatives. The long-term effect of the agreement was to postpone the requirement for the government to produce documents to the parliamentary committee, by setting up barriers. As explained in the link above, each document would first have to pass an all-party ad hoc committee, sworn to secrecy, and then would have to pass a non-parliamentary panel of three arbiters, whose decision would be binding and non-appealable, before the parliamentary committee would be allowed to see it.

Only [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/bring-harper-down-over-detaine... month later[/url], when it came time for all parties to agree in writing on how this complicated and stringent gatekeeping would work, did the NDP finally wake up and realize that it had been foolish to make the agreement of May 14. As a result they refused to sign the written agreement. But by then it was too late. The documents were effectively withheld from the parliamentary committee.

Had the NDP withheld consent to the agreement on May 14, 2010, the Speaker's deadline for an all-party agreement would have passed, and the finding of contempt of parliament against the Harper Government (which the Speaker had suspended to allow the four parties an opportunity to reach a unanimous agreement on how to get the documents to the parliamentary committee) would have become official. The unanimous agreement of May 14, 2010, however, saved Harper's bacon and killed the parliamentary committee's inquiry into the detainee torture issue.

NDPP

How Canada Is Complicit in Torture  -  by Robert J Hanlon

http://the-diplomat.com/2012/02/19/how-canada-is-complicit-in-torture

"...Rather than maintaining a covert policy of intelligence gathering protected by national security, the government has inflicted Canadians with a moral argument that they now must normalize or reject. There is no longer any excuse; Canadians are complicit in torture abroad. Canada is signaling to Asia's rulers that torture is acceptable, period. The question remains, how will Canada's democratic system approach this truth?"

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:

You're understandably keen to forget the part about how the NDP and the other three parties [url=http://www.thecourt.ca/2010/05/14/detainee-docs-agreement/]all agreed on May 14, 2010[/url] to a scheme that would allow for documents to be withheld from the committee looking into Afghan detainee torture - which was the very issue on which the Speaker had said the government was in contempt of parliament.

The NDP agreed "in principle" but pulled out of further discussions only after the Reformatory toadies to Warshington insisted on government loopholes to exclude the feds disclosing legal and cabinet documents from disclosure to the effective oppozishin NDP and Canadian public in general.

M. Spector wrote:
As explained in the link above, each document would first have to pass an all-party ad hoc committee, sworn to secrecy, and then would have to pass a non-parliamentary panel of three arbiters, whose decision would be binding and non-appealable, before the parliamentary committee would be allowed to see it.

And the Liberals and Bloc continue to side with the Harpers in preventing transparency and accountability to the Canadian public.

[url=Liberals">http://www.ndp.ca/press/afghan-docs-committee-producing-no-documents][co... and Bloc failing to hold Harper to account - no documents yet released: NDP[/url] March 2011

[url=Reality">http://www.ndp.ca/press/reality-check-more-broken-promises-on-releasing-... Check: More broken promises on releasing Afghan detainee documents: NDP[/url] April 2011

The NDP wrote:
After a historic ruling from speaker Milliken one year ago the Liberals took the road well travelled, and backed down in the face of Conservative threats. The result: an ad hoc committee of Parliamentarians locked away for a year.

Today, the Liberal and the Bloc are promising action. We've heard this before:

"My understanding is that the process is a serious one and is proceeding well and I'm quite confident that we will see some documents released very soon"
Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc, December 10, 2010

"We'll have an important number of those documents that will be rendered public in January"
Gilles Duceppe, Canadian Press, December 10, 2010

"You can rest assured, there will be a status report ... and information will be released"
Liberal MP Bryon Wilfert, Canadian Press, December 10, 2010

This is why Ottawa's broken.

Liberals hail detainee deal, dismiss NDP objections as 'horsefeathers' June 2010

Quote:
House of Commons Speaker Peter Milliken had ordered the Harper government show the opposition the documents relating to potential abuse of Afghan detainees.

He ruled that Parliament was supreme and set a deadline for the parties to figure out a way for their public release - that was almost seven weeks ago.

If Ottawa is not broken, then there would exist a democratic process for extracting the truth about torture from Uncle Sam's junior inquisitors in phony-majority government. Of course, some babblers have argued for the maintenance of a red-blue chamber filled with old line party hacks, and some of whom moonlight as corporate lobbyists who lend bended ears to right wing think tankerists as of Brian Baloney's time in the sun. And I tend to not pay those babblers much attention when they shine us on with their anti-NDP propaganda as per usual.

Another perfectly good anti-NDP propaganda thread tainted by the truth. You'll just have to try harder.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Fidel wrote:

[url=Liberals">http://www.ndp.ca/press/afghan-docs-committee-producing-no-documents][co... and Bloc failing to hold Harper to account - no documents yet released: NDP[/url]

...where we read this piece of utter hypocrisy:

Quote:
The four parties reached an agreement in principle in favour of a plan that would strike a fair balance between national security and the public’s right to know. However, the NDP refused to sign a deal after the Liberals and the Bloc agreed with the Conservatives to keep certain escape clauses in place. New Democrats warned these measures would allow the government to hijack the process and prevent necessary legal documents and Cabinet records from being made available to Parliament and the public.

The "agreement in principle" that supposedly struck a "fair balance between national security and the public's right to know" was a con job that the NDP fell for hook, line, and sinker on May 14, 2010. Here's the crap that they agreed to in writing, as I linked to above. Hold your nose - it gets stinky:

Quote:
An agreement in principle has been reached by all parties:

· Creation of an ad hoc committee of parliamentarians composed of one Member of Parliament and an alternate from each political party....

· With respect to every unredacted document examined by the Committee, the Committee will determine whether the information in that document is relevant to matters of importance to Members of Parliament, particularly as it relates to the ongoing study on the transfer of Afghan detainees currently under way at the House of Commons Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan, and whether the use of such information is necessary for the purpose of holding the government to account. The decisions of the Committee related to the relevance shall be final and unreviewable.

· Where the Committee determines that such information is both relevant and necessary, or upon the request of any member of the Committee, it will refer the document to a Panel of Arbiters who will determine how that relevant and necessary information will be made available to Members of Parliament and the public without compromising national security – either by redaction or the writing of summaries or such techniques as the Panel find appropriate, hearing in mind the basic objectives of maximizing disclosure and transparency. The Panel of Arbiters should regularly consult with the members of the Committees to better understand what information the MPs believe to be relevant and the reason why. The decisions of the Panel of Arbiters with respect to disclosure shall be final and unreviewable.

· The Panel of Arbiters will be composed of 3 eminent jurists. Composition of the panel must be agreed upon by the government and the opposition....

So whereas the Speaker had already decided that the parliamentary committee was entitled to see the documents, the government managed to con the 3 opizishin parties into a process whereby unelected, extraparliamentary gatekeepers would have the last word on what, if anything, the Parliamentary committee was allowed to see - with no right of appeal!

If the NDP had been so concerned on May 14, 2012 not to allow the government "to hijack the process and prevent necessary legal documents and Cabinet records from being made available to Parliament and the public", they would never have agreed to such a process.  

By agreeing to this memorandum on May 14 the NDP helped snatch defeat from the jaws of the victory handed to them by the Speaker.

Then a year later they professed to be shocked - shocked! - that the documents had still been kept away from the Parliamentary committee.

It would be funny if it weren't such a tragedy.

Unionist

M. Spector wrote:

It would be funny if it weren't such a tragedy.

I was going to add my comments, but realized it would be easier to just copy and paste what I already said before, in reply to Stockholm, KenS, jrootham, and others who were predicting that the opposition (in particular the NDP) were going to bring about heaven on earth with the Speaker's ruling.

[url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/milliken-does-right-thing]Here are some excerpts[/url] from April 2010:

Quote:
Harper has never lost a skirmish yet. He can normally rely on the opposition to either fold or divide. I'll be very shocked (though thrilled) if he ends up being hurt this time.

Quote:
I said the opposition would fold or divide. I stand by that prediction until further notice.

Quote:
[In reply to Stockholm, who said the Speaker's contempt ruling would be "the gift that keeps on giving for the opposition":]

With a limp Opposition, no gift gives for long.

Remember Bill C-288?

Quote:
The purpose of this Act is to ensure that Canada takes effective and timely action to meet its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol and help address the problem of global climate change.

It received royal assent June 22, 2007.

The Harper government ridiculed it and said they would ignore it.

The so-called "Opposition" parties promptly said, "oh, ok, sorry we passed it, don't mind us, what's the next diversionary issue of the day? please don't call an election - please!".

If they couldn't profit from that "gift", I predict the issue of detainees will be forgotten by... ummm... what time is it right now?

Quote:
I think I mentioned that Harper will win this little skirmish. Just watch him.

Quote:

Ken, I'd relent on my prediction (which has basically already come true - not rocket science) if you could give me one single example of one single battle of political wits that Harper has lost to the opposition since 2006.

It says less about how brilliant Harper is than about how narrow-minded, short-sighted, and unprincipled his opponents are. Oh, and you can add, jusÞ plain not that bright. List of well-known examples available on request. To start you off: child care, Kyoto, EI reform, troop withdrawal, "quebecois nation", truth and reconciliation, stimulus funding, tell me when to stop.

Quote:
Oh, by the way, did I sadly predict Harper would win this one? Sounds like it's all over but for the handwringing.

So here's my question in February 2012:

Now that the "combat mission" is over (heh), which of the NDP leadership candidates will declare this:

Quote:
The minute our party forms the government, every single detainee document will be made public.

I didn't think so.

 

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:

If the NDP had been so concerned on May 14, 2012 not to allow the government "to hijack the process and prevent necessary legal documents and Cabinet records from being made available to Parliament and the public", they would never have agreed to such a process.  

By agreeing to this memorandum on May 14 the NDP helped snatch defeat from the jaws of the victory handed to them by the Speaker.

You keep repeating this. When did the Speaker of the House give the then fourth and effective opposition party the opportunity to bring down the government? From what I can tell, Harper was enjoying full support from his best friends forever at the time, Steve Ignatieff and Steve Duceppe in what was a mini coalition of the Three Stevadores.

M. Spector wrote:
Then a year later they professed to be shocked - shocked! - that the documents had still been kept away from the Parliamentary committee.

Wait and minute wait a minute. I'm pretty sure it was Steve's cousins, Steve Ignatieff and his other cousin, Steve Duceppe, who were telling CBC reporters that the torture docs were practically in the mail. So what have their newest cousins Steve Rae and the Bloc head, Steve Paille, said lately about the torture docs? Are they conspiring with their other cousin Steve to prevent transparency and accountability to the Canadian public same as before?

Vetting of Afghan detainee files left unfinished, panel says June 2011

Quote:
The procedure - agreed to by all parliamentary parties save for the NDP, which boycotted it - was to delay public release of documents until a trio of retired senior judges filtered them with behind-the-scenes input from a select group of MPs.

The process hit several road bumps. In March, one of the three veteran judges, Donald Brenner, died. Then in April, Parliament dissolved after the Conservatives were found to be in contempt of the legislature for excessive secrecy on other issues.

Parliament's dissolution meant that the judges no longer had any committee of MPs to turn to for input. Post-election, the judges were looking to discuss their findings with a renewed committee of MPs, but no such committee was formed. "We were advised by the government that it is unlikely that the [committee] will be renewed," the judges wrote in their June 15 letter.

Thanks to their cousins in the Parti de Libranos and Bloc, our vicious toadies in government were able to dissolve Parliament and make another undemocratic maneuver with a snap election call for short-term political gain. I think herr Steveler must have set some kind of record for the number of times he dissolved Parliament with the fourth and effective opposition NDP party breathing down his fat neck.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Fidel wrote:

M. Spector wrote:

If the NDP had been so concerned on May 14, 2012 not to allow the government "to hijack the process and prevent necessary legal documents and Cabinet records from being made available to Parliament and the public", they would never have agreed to such a process.  

By agreeing to this memorandum on May 14 the NDP helped snatch defeat from the jaws of the victory handed to them by the Speaker.

You keep repeating this. When did the Speaker of the House give the then fourth and effective opposition party the opportunity to bring down the government? From what I can tell, Harper was enjoying full support from his best friends forever at the time, Steve Ignatieff and Steve Duceppe in what was a mini coalition of the Three Stevadores.

Your recollection is faulty. Far from enjoying full support from any of the three opizishin parties, Harper was on the ropes in April 2010, when Speaker Milliken upheld the supremacy of Parliament over the government. Here, to refresh your memory of events, is what the [url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2010/04/27/afghan-detainee-documen... reported[/url] on April 27, 2010. I have selected and rearranged some of the paragraphs in order to create a chronological narrative for you:

CBC wrote:

A special parliamentary committee on the Afghanistan mission and a civilian-run military watchdog have been investigating allegations that Canadian officials handed over prisoners to Afghan custody with the knowledge they would be tortured.

Government and military officials, past and present, have vehemently denied the allegations and insist Canada's troops have always respected international law.

The government recently appointed retired Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci to review the material to determine what can be released.

But opposition parties have decried his appointment as a delay tactic to avoid potentially embarrassing revelations about what the Conservatives knew about torture allegations — and when they first learned of them.

The MPs have argued that Iacobucci's review will likely take months and that the government is under no obligation to make his findings public.
----

On Dec. 10 [2009], the Commons passed an opposition motion ordering the government to produce unredacted documents pertaining to the Canadian transfer of detainees to Afghan custody. But Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government has refused to comply with that order, citing national security concerns.

In response, MPs from all three opposition parties submitted questions of privilege to Milliken last month that called for several government ministers to be held in contempt of Parliament, arguing that the House's "supreme" power over the prime minister is a basic tenet of democracy.
----

The federal government breached parliamentary privilege with its refusal to produce uncensored documents related to the treatment of Afghan detainees and must provide the material to MPs within two weeks, Speaker Peter Milliken has ruled.

During his lengthy ruling Tuesday afternoon in the House, Milliken called on House leaders, ministers and MPs to find a "workable accommodation" to satisfy all parties "without compromising the security and confidentiality contained."

Milliken ruled Parliament had a right to order the government in December to produce uncensored documents to members of a special committee examining allegations that detainees transferred to Afghan custody were tortured.

He said the order was "clear" and procedurally acceptable but acknowledged it had no provision to protect sensitive information within the material.

"It is the view of the chair that accepting an unconditional authority of the executive to censor the information provided to Parliament would, in fact, jeopardize the very separation of powers that is purported to lie at the heart of our parliamentary system and the independence of its constituent parts," Milliken told the House.

"Furthermore, it risks diminishing the inherent privileges of the House and its members, which have been earned and must be safeguarded."
----

In a brief statement to reporters shortly after Milliken's decision, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said the government "welcomes the possibility of a compromise while respecting our legal obligations, acknowledged by the Speaker."
----

Speaking after Milliken's ruling, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff called it "a clear victory for Parliament, for the people of Canada, for democracy and a clear defeat for the Conservative government."

He said he would instruct Liberal House leader Ralph Goodale to consult his Conservative counterpart and find a solution in the next two weeks "that vindicates the right of the Canadian people to have documents and also respects the considerations of national security."
----

NDP Leader Jack Layton also hailed Milliken's decision as a "very strong and important ruling."

"The Speaker stood up for members of Parliament and for the people elected by the people of Canada against a Harper government that simply wanted to act in a contemptuous way towards Parliament," Layton told reporters.

At the end of his ruling the Speaker gave the House a deadline to work out a compromise:

Speaker Milliken wrote:
I will allow House Leaders, Ministers and party critics time to suggest some way of resolving the impasse for it seems to me we would fail the institution if no resolution can be found. However, if, in two weeks’ time, the matter is still not resolved, the Chair will return to make a statement on the motion that will be allowed in the circumstances.

And so it came to pass that the NDP did, in fact, have the power to scuttle a compromise and force the Speaker to rule on the contempt motion. Such a ruling would have undoubtedly gone against Harper and could have brought down the government.

Unfortunately, after the self-congratulation and declarations of "victory for democracy" had died down, the NDP and the other parties agreed on May 14 to the memorandum I quoted in a previous post, whereby the obstructive function of Mr. Justice Iacobucci that had precipitated the crisis was replaced by another obstruction in the form of not just one judge, but a panel of three "eminent jurists" who would have absolute veto power over what information the Parliamentary committee could get its hands on. So much for Parliamentary supremacy.

And so, at the eleventh hour, the three opizishin "Steveadores" prevented the Speaker from having to rule that the government was in contempt, thereby saving Harper's bacon.

A year later, the NDP was still wondering whatever happened to the documents that Harper was supposed to hand over!

Will an NDP government hand over those documents to a Parliamentary committee? Is Tupac Shakur a Jewish holiday?

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:
And so it came to pass that the NDP did, in fact, have the power to scuttle a compromise and force the Speaker to rule on the contempt motion. Such a ruling would have undoubtedly gone against Harper and could have brought down the government.

I don't see where the fourth and effective opposition party had the numerical ability to force the Harpers to do anything.

You seem to be the only person on the internet interpreting Milliken's words as a coded message to the NDP to either speak now or forever give up their right to protest herr Steveler's shananigans.

You seem to be the only babbler attempting to tell us, in so many words, that Parliament or Canada's democracy in general is not broken.

It is.

Your democracy was always broken same as your Westminster senate setup.

It's fubar as in hasn't worked since there were more than two parties in Ottawa. Libertories and Conservabranos can agree with one another and prop-up each others' parties all they like, but it isn't democracy. 

Inbred cousins Steve Ignatieff, Steve Harper and Steve Duceppe were all best friends forever until Layton and the NDP broke-up their politically incestuous menage et trois, sorry to have to inform you.

Fidel

I think it's you who are beginning to believe your own bullshit. No one else on the internet that I can see has interpreted anything Milliken said or ruled on to mean that the NDP was responsible for "saving Harper's bacon." Youre full of hops.

Milliken OK's Afghan records deal June 17 2010

The CBC wrote:
The NDP, which walked away from all-party talks earlier this week, wanted Milliken to rule the memorandum of understanding signed by the other three parties (and which "other three" parties would those be, M, Spector?) didn't meet the requirements he laid out in a historic April 27 ruling.

But Milliken told the House an "overwhelming majority" of MPs backed the deal and he considered the matter closed. ...

Appearing on CBC's Power & Politics, NDP Leader Jack Layton said he rejected the agreement reached between the three other parties because it "enshrines secrecy."

Layton rejected the deal because it enshrines secrecy.

Aren't you the one who is always berating the NDP for demanding transparency and accountability to the Canadian public with your rabid anti-NDP rhetoric?

What would your old line party millionaire senators say about this, M? 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

You seem to be the only person who doesn't understand that the Speaker was prepared to find the Harper government in contempt of Parliament unless all parties in the House reached an agreement on how to get access to the documents for the Parliamentary committee. That gave all parties a veto.

That means that if the NDP had said on Friday May 14, "No, we will not agree to replacing Justice Iacobucci with a panel of three other judges who can veto what the Parliamentary committee is allowed to see; we demand that Parliament's supremacy over the Harper government be recognized in this agreement, in accordance with the Speaker's interim ruling of April 27" then on Monday May 17 Peter Milliken would have made a final ruling on the NDP contempt motion and would have found the Harper government in contempt of parliament.

And by June 14 the NDP realized they had been snookered by the other parties; they refused to sign the second written agreement that filled in the details of how the document-blocking scheme was to work. But by then it was too late. The NDP ended up on the sidelines, unable to influence the process at all, while the other three parties conspired with the three judges to drag the whole process out until parliament was prorogued.

ETA: As Murray Dobbin [url=http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/murray-dobbin/2010/04/farcical-abuse-nat... before the all-party agreement of May 14 was made:

Quote:
If the opposition parties had in the first place refused to accept the opportunistic and phony framing of the documents issue they would not now be bending themselves out of shape trying to compromise on something that should not be compromised: total, unrestricted parliamentary access to the documents that will tell us once and for all the critical question at the core of this issue:

Are Canadian senior officials, up to and including ministers of the crown, guilty of war crimes?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

That was in June.

Milliken was prepared to rule on the contempt motions two weeks after April 27 if all the parties couldn't reach a deal. Two weeks later they did just that, in a deal that "enshrined secrecy". That put an end to the Speaker's involvement.

A month later the NDP got buyer's remorse and refused to sign the second document, but, as I have said repeatedly, and as the CBC article you quote confirms, by then it was too late. The die had been cast on May 14.    

Fidel

Are you able to point us to one other person anywhere else on the internet who believes as you do - that the NDP conspired sub rosa and in secret to "save Harper's bacon"? 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

I never said they conspired. They got suckered, and a month later (June) it was "D'oh!"

Read the blog post by Murray Dobbin I linked to in post #11. Dobbin points out how the opizishin parties all bought into Harper's framing of the release of detainee documents as being a genuine national security issue, and as a result let themselves get all tied up in bureaucratic procedures causing delays that were completely unnecessary.

As Dobbin said in a [url=http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/murray-dobbin/2010/05/liberals-have-sabo... column[/url], "If there are 10 pages out of the 40,000 in question that have anything to do with genuine national security I will eat all of them." In that same column, written the day after the infamous May 14 agreement, he said all three opizishin parties went along with Harper's "compromise" because they were afraid of an election. 

 

Gaian

I'm afraid, Fidel, the opizishun hereabouts refuse to bring the state of mind of the Great Misled into the picture - and they hate the use of such terms because creating a social vacuum when discussing politics, allows them to pontificate/moralize without admitting the little "difficulties" of bringing the Great Misled aboard . It has always been an unfair battle with the forces of wishful thinking and textbook prattle. Hell, it's always "forgotten" that Graeme Smith of that infamous capitalist rag, The Globe and Mail, exposed the issue to the world.

But, by gar, you are fighting the battle in fine fashion. Social democrats thank you for preserving a rational perspective.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

It must be tough being a social democrat and being held back from doing the right thing all the time because of those damned "Great Misled".

Of course it never occurs to them that the Great Misled wouldn't be so Misled if only the social democrats offered them alternative Leadership, instead of tail-ending the most backward sections of the populace all the time, out of fear of actually disturbing the status quo.

Fidel

Murray Dobbin wrote:
The agreement reached at the 11th hour on the uncensored Afghan torture documents is hardly a victory for democracy. It is precisely the opposite and it is the Liberals we have to thank for it.

And apparently neither does Murray Dobbin agree with M. Spector when he says that the fourth and effective opposition party at the time, the NDP, conspired with the forces of evol to "save Harper's bacon."

You're giving us conspiracy theory, M. Spector. Conspiracy theory!

What did save Harper's bacon was our broken down democracy in Ottawa. It wasn't the fourth party in Ottawa or even Harper's clever political maneuvering but a broken-down electoral system whereby a bought and paid-for stooge and his party with 22% of the eligible voter support was in bed with another bought and paid-for by Bay Street stooge, Steve Ignatieff, an alleged leader of the then "opposition party." There was no official opposition party just a coalition of two same-same Bay Street parties. 

And it all came to an end when Jack leaned over to Michael Ignatieff during a nationally televised election debate and said,

"And you've been his best friend!"

The alleged leader of "the official opposition party" never recovered after that.

It's busted, Jim.

Unionist

It's perfectly clear that Harper won that battle, like all the others, even in the face of a contempt ruling.

But while we can argue about the past, what about the present?

Is any party demanding immediate release of all (or any) of the detainee documents, like NOW?

Is any NDP leadership candidate prepared to commit to publication of all the documents, the moment they lead a government - or hold the balance of power?

There can't be any conceivable "security" issues, now that the so-called combat mission is over.

Publish the detainee documents now!

I think I'll ask the candidates.

Unionist

Fidel,

Do you agree that the NDP should demand release of the Afghan detainee documents? And that the leadership candidates should commit to that now?

 

Fidel

Harper has a 160 year-old legacy of broken democracy in Ottawa to thank for "saving his bacon" on a lot more than just his cow-towing, snivelling and grovelling to Uncle Sam on issues of torture in Afghanistan.

Murray Dobbin clearly blames the alleged former "official opposition party" Liberals who blew it on the torture documents. They carried out their colonial administrative duties wrt Afghanistan right to that party's bitter end and hopefully their long good night.

And we can thank Jack Layton for exposing the then phony opposition party for what they really are in a nationally televised election debate, which is a corrupt mirror image of the "Liberal" democrats in the U.S. and accomplices to the torture and warfiteering and great game baloney in Central Asia. 

It's still broken. We need to elect our first NDP government in Ottawa to fix it.

Fidel

I'm sorry that Canada's first real opposition party leader passed away three months after the election. We still need to elect a leader and get on with opposing herr Steveler and his pro Warshington, pro big business colonial administrative agenda.

There will be no putting the bum's rush on party democracy in the NDP. It might be what the Liberal Party does, but it's not what social democrats will be doing soon. 

All things in good time.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Translation: Don't expect anything useful to be accomplished before the NDP gets re-elected to a second majority term.

Or hell freezes over, whichever comes first.

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:

Translation: Don't expect anything useful to be accomplished before the NDP gets re-elected to a second majority term.

?

Quote:
Or hell freezes over, whichever comes first.

The 24% Harper majoritarians are governing like they still have a minority even while the NDP is preoccupied with internal party democracy and will be in high gear and demonstrating what a real opposition party looks like in good time.

Canada Supports Torture: An Instrument of "Terrorism Propaganda"

Julie Lévesque wrote:
what is the fundamental role of torture?

It is wrong to presume that the goal of torture is to collect information, to obtain confessions. Several experts suggest that authorities use torture because they wrongfully believe that it is the only way to have access to certain information. Yet, by using and condoning torture, the authorities know full well what they are doing and it has nothing to do with intelligence gathering. Torture is a propaganda tool.

The absolute goal of any authority resorting to torture is to dominate, consolidate its position of authority, of superiority, but mostly to prove, promote and protect its world view, its propaganda by spreading terror.

It's time that the real anti-war movement and the left wing worked to undermine the American inquisition and their toadies in Ottawa instead of having generally supported the phony-baloney war on terror.

Unionist

[url=http://rabble.ca/news/2013/06/harper-governments-detainee-torture-scanda... Harper government's detainee torture scandal will soon resurface[/url]

Unfortunately, there is no opposition party which cares about this issue, so Harper will be given a pass, just as he was in 2010. Only now, he has a majority.

 

Slumberjack

Being against torture is the same as being soft on terrorism for our political establishment.

Unionist

Unionist, on Feb. 21, 2012 wrote:

It's perfectly clear that Harper won that battle, like all the others, even in the face of a contempt ruling.

But while we can argue about the past, what about the present?

Is any party demanding immediate release of all (or any) of the detainee documents, like NOW?

Is any NDP leadership candidate prepared to commit to publication of all the documents, the moment they lead a government - or hold the balance of power?

There can't be any conceivable "security" issues, now that the so-called combat mission is over.

Publish the detainee documents now!

I think I'll ask the candidates.

I got no reply at the time.

And, of course, the NDP never once raised the issue again since 2010, as far as I can determine.

Now that the Liberals and badass Sajjan are in power, perhaps someone will find some crass political advantage in resuscitating this issue.

Can we put pressure on the NDP to put pressure on the Liberals to release all the documents? Or does anyone really care?

NDPP

Don't look for 'badass Sajjan' to necessarily be of help, since his name has already come up as one of those 'in the loop' while serving in Afghanistan...Operation Sandbox involving allegations of 'unlawful killing' by JTF2 members also needs to be examined. I agree this is an opportune and obvious initiative the NDP should have figured out for themselves but probably hasn't.

Unionist

NDPP wrote:

Don't look for 'badass Sajjan' to necessarily be of help, since his name has already come up as one of those 'in the loop' while serving in Afghanistan...Operation Sandbox involving allegations of 'unlawful killing' by JTF2 members also needs to be examined. I agree this is an opportune and obvious initiative the NDP should have figured out for themselves but probably hasn't.

I didn't make myself clear - I agree with you. I meant that with the Liberals and Sajjan in power, some opposition party might see a little political capital in reviving this - to use against the Liberals. I have zero expectation that the Liberals will raise it on their own.

Unionist

Just so that we don't forget the historical record - see above.

The Liberals, NDP, and Bloc abandoned the detainee issue 6 years ago - after the Harper government had been named for contempt of Parliament. And that's the last anyone heard of the issue. Now it's the Liberals' turn to cover up, and the NDP to pretend that they care. Only the Green Party, to its credit, sounded the alarm again - 5 years ago.

It's tough when there's next to no one in Parliament consistently and doggedly representing the interests of the Canadian people.